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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: October, 2008

POSTED: Monday, October 20, 2008, 3:10 AM
With crude oil prices at about half their painful July peaks, what became of the push to stop the evils of speculation?

It's hard to stay upset, after all, when gasoline at the pump has fallen to the $3-a-gallon range, from $4, and seems headed even lower.

OPEC, some of whose leaders railed the loudest against market speculators a couple of months ago, called an emergency meeting for this Friday to address the price drop. Analysts believe the cartel could decide to cut oil production by a million barrels per day.

Reid Kanaley @ 3:10 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, October 17, 2008, 3:10 AM

Philadelphia-area manufacturers have spoken, and what they said, as a whole, isn't encouraging.

After hovering on the edge in recent months, manufacturing here is contracting, according to the latest survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia - a much-watched measure of the economy.

But a closer look at a couple of manufacturers with headquarters in the region provides more nuance on what's happening, and of what's ahead.

Reid Kanaley @ 3:10 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, October 16, 2008, 2:20 AM

Shareholders of Ikon Office Solutions Inc. who are being asked to approve the Exton company’s acquisition by Ricoh Co. Ltd. may wonder how the deal compares to others involving office equipment distributors.

Analysis by Goldman Sachs & Co. that’s contained in the proxy statement shows it’s not the best, but it’s not the worst either.

Ricoh is offering $17.25 per share in cash, or $1.62 billion. Goldman Sachs calculates that works out to 0.5 times Ikon’s last 12 months of sales or 8.2 times its earnings before income taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA.

POSTED: Wednesday, October 15, 2008, 2:25 AM
Filed Under: Economic Development

To get an idea of what “foreign direct investment” means, you could visit Gamesa’s wind turbine factory in Fairless Hills.

How Spain’s Gamesa came to locate here has been well-documented. Five years ago, the Rendell administration heard Gamesa was looking to set up U.S. operations.

Looking to encourage alternative and renewable energy in Pennsylvania, the state’s economic development team launched the sales pitch: good workforce, location, transportation network and so on.

POSTED: Tuesday, October 14, 2008, 2:25 AM
Filed Under: Financial Services

Wachovia retained its ranking as the Philadelphia region’s biggest bank by deposits, according to new statistics released by federal regulators.

But that won’t be true next year.

With the Federal Reserve giving its blessing to the acquisition of Wachovia Corp. by Wells Fargo & Co. on Sunday, Wells Fargo will be the new financial superpower here.

POSTED: Monday, October 13, 2008, 3:29 PM
Filed Under: Pharma, Biotech

The New York company that Exton-based ViroPharma Inc. is buying received Food and Drug Administration approval for a drug that treats a rare medical condition.

The FDA approved Cinryze, which is being developed by Lev Pharmaceuticals Inc. to treat those with hereditary angioedema. The condition is also known as C1 inhibitor deficiency.

That's good news for ViroPharma, which in July agreed to acquire Lev in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $442.9 million. Lev shareholders will vote on the deal Oct. 21.

POSTED: Monday, October 13, 2008, 2:25 AM
Filed Under: Investing, Markets

It’s hard to grasp the immense destruction of wealth that occurred in the stock markets last week.

I ran the numbers for 25 companies that are either based here or have a big presence in the region. In total, they saw $134 billion of market value vanish in one week.

Only 15 of the 203 companies in the Inquirer/Bloomberg Philadelphia Index rose. And I can’t give you reasons why any of those 15 resisted the downward pull.

POSTED: Saturday, October 11, 2008, 4:26 PM
Filed Under: Technology

As the Associated Press is reporting, the NFL has sacked Comcast Corp. for a loss, thanks to a ruling by the officials.

The Federal Communications Commission issued a 58-page opinion on a long-running dispute between the Philadelphia cable giant and the 24-hour NFL Network channel.

Once again, the FCC rules against Comcast, which has been putting the NFL Network on a special tier that costs subscribers more money.

About this blog
Mike Armstrong blogs about Philadelphia corporations and business-related topics. Contact him at 215-854-2980. Reach Mike at marmstrong@phillynews.com.

Mike Armstrong Inquirer Columnist
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